With the way things are in the world (at the moment), if you asked most people when was the best time to visit New Zealand, they would say right now.

We’ve all had a taste of what it feels like to not travel, (not to mention the period after restrictions were lifted when even we seasoned travellers were too scared to travel).


That was then and now is now. And with travel (very much) back on the menu, there is no better time to get yourself on a plane and visit one of the most beautiful places in the world

New Zealand. 

From a Kiwi local to you, the adventurer, let me share with you what New Zealand offers throughout the year so you can decide which month is the best time to visit. 



The Best Time To Visit New Zealand

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The last thing you want when you finally get to book that trip of a lifetime to New Zealand (or perhaps you are thinking of making a move to New Zealand) is to arrive and find out that the kids are off school and every hotel is fully booked.

But that won’t happen because I am here to share with you which month is the best time to visit New Zealand. 

(I’ll give you a clue… New Zealand is the perfect place to visit at ANY time of the year!)

My family and I have been living in New Zealand for fourteen years.

In 2009, we made the move to New Zealand from the UK and have been exploring this beautiful country ever since.


New Zealand scenery

Anytime is the best time to visit New Zealand, but some months are more special than others!


Why Visit New Zealand? (And When Is the Best Time To Go?)


New Zealand is one of the most unique travel destinations in the world. It is also (in my opinion) one of the best places to raise your kids.

Not only does this country of almost five million inhabitants and twenty-seven million sheep, gorgeous scenery, a fabulous climate and coffee to die for, it gives you a certain ‘feeling’.

(A bit woo, I know, but stay with me here).

The feeling in New Zealand is that of openness. Of space and freedom.

The minute you step foot onto New Zealand soil, you will feel welcomed. You will feel it.

Plus, we have little hobbits and houses made of moss.

And yes, while it’s true, that the use of New Zealand slang words is sometimes hard to get your head around, and the New Zealand food is a bit weird, the New Zealand people are friendly, down to earth and lovely.

And that’s important.

New Zealand living is not perfect. There are a few bad things about New Zealand that (still) get right up our nose, but all in all, the country comes pretty close to paradise.

New Zealand is a relatively safe country and, due to its diversity, is an all-year-round destination, with each month bringing something special (and exciting) for those who make the trip down here.


Family in the summer in New Zealand

Summertime in New Zealand



Visiting New Zealand in the Summer Months (Dec/Jan/Feb)




New Zealand beach and boardwalk

New Zealand in January… simmeringly perfect.


January is a wonderful month to visit New Zealand, but do bear in mind that it is the busiest of all months, too due to it being the school summer holidays, meaning that prices for accommodation are at their highest (*see tip for saving money on accommodation further down the post).

January is the height of summer in New Zealand, which means there are lots of outdoor celebrations around the country, making it one of the best times to visit New Zealand if you have a family.

I have to give a shout-out to the BEST festival of all time – The Festival Of Lights held at the park in New Plymouth, Taranaki.

If you can get to the region of Taranaki (which I highly recommend, and not just because I live there!), do so.

It is on the West Coast of the North Island and is stunning. (It was also voted the second-best place in the world to visit).

Throughout January, Taranaki hosts a month-long affair when the park in New Plymouth is adorned with fairy lights and filled with many outdoor concerts and open-air cinema screenings.

The best part of all is that it is absolutely FREE! Yay!

 While the cost to live in New Zealand may be slightly higher than in other parts of the world, you will always find plenty of free and cheap things to do if you are travelling on a budget in new Zealand.



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(Check out this video of the hot pools we visit in Taupo, New Zealand – Completely free and stunning!)


The school kids are on holiday for the entire month of January, and around the country, families are seeking out the best spots on the campsites.

Either that or they’re dragging their trailers behind them to the nearest bach (another kiwi slang word for a holiday home by the beach!)

January sees lots of beach activity (obviously because of the school holidays).

Be aware that the height of summer brings with it the dreaded sandflies…

If you are visiting New Zealand in the summer (especially if you intend to go to the West Coast of the South island, where the little buggers seem to be the worst), invest in some strong bug repellent.


  • It gets dark at about 9.15 pm in January in New Zealand
  • The temperature in January in New Zealand is approx 20 – 25 ºc 



February (and some say the time of year to visit New Zealand)

Lavender field in New Zealand

New Zealand in February is divine and is my favourite month to travel in New Zealand.


The kids are back at school, and the weather in February is balmy and calm, with the sea warm, meaning that February is often said to be the best time of year to visit New Zealand.

February sees skies that are clear and nights that are starry, and everyone is relaxed and happy in February in New Zealand! (Could it be that we are all happy the kids have gone back to school?!)

Long, warm days see the kids running home from school and heading down to the beach or to the local river as quickly as possible to swim.

People are back at work, so you will stand a far better chance of getting that sweet spot on the campsite.

The bach accommodation is pricey as it’s still summer, but availability is better.


  • It gets dark at around 9 pm in February
  • The average temp in Feb: 20 -25ºC



Visiting New Zealand in Autumn


mountain in New Zealand in summer


Q: Where is the best place to book accommodation in New Zealand?

A: You can try Bookabach if you have a large group and are looking for something by the sea (although these can be quite pricy). 

You can’t go wrong with booking.com for hotels. We are also big fans of New Zealand Airbnb.


Housesitting in New Zealand

Another accommodation alternative is something that we LOVE to do: Housesitting! My favourite accommodation go-to. People always ask how we afford to travel the world, and our answer is simple: Housesitting!

Housesitting in New Zealand is fabulous. All the houses we have ever taken are consistently excellent. 

Housesitting in New Zealand is easy, plentiful and reliable. Do not overlook this wonderful option.

Travelling for free by housesitting in New Zealand is something we do all of the time (we have just returned from a 5-week housesit in Napier), and you can too. If you are keen to go deeper into one or two areas of New Zealand and live like a local, then check it out!



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March in New Zealand


Girl swinging over water in new Zealand


20th March 2020 is officially the start of autumn in New Zealand, and although the days are still very warm and calm, the nights are getting cooler. I

f you sit outside in the evening, you will need a fleece.

Although there is plenty of sunshine around, in some regions you will notice that the kiwis start mentioning the end of summer and preparing for the colder months.

WOMAD festival is held in March in Taranaki, bringing hoards of world music lovers to the region.

Prices will now drop on accommodations, and you will certainly get that spot on the campsite.

March is the best month to visit New Zealand if you desire no crowds but guaranteed weather.


  • It gets dark at around  8.10 pm in March
  • The average temperatures in March are around 17 – 21º C



Check out the video of what kids do in the autumn in New Zealand!




April in New Zealand


View of hills in new Zealand

April is the perfect month to visit New Zealand if you are into hiking.


The trails are quiet, and while the days are sunny, you will be kept at just the right temperature if you wear a few thin layers.

Like March, April can have many sunny, warm days, but it tends to be chilly at night.

Try and get down to Arrowtown in the South Island to experience the beautiful autumn colours. While you are there, be sure to visit Wanaka.

Many tours offer discount ticket prices at this time of year so keep your eye on last-minute deals.

Be aware that the schools break up for two weeks in April, so if you are booking accommodation check out the dates of their holidays to keep prices down.


  • Gets dark at around 6.00 pm
  • The average temperatures in April are 17 – 21ºC


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Family in hot springs in New Zealand


Officially, the last month of autumn, May, is a great time to visit New Zealand.

You will have almost everywhere to yourself, and you can still see some beautiful autumn colours in some parts of the country.

Do make sure you pack some warm clothes, although in saying that, remember, New Zealand is famous for four seasons in one day – you’ll no doubt put your hat and gloves on in the morning and will wish you were wearing a tee-shirt by lunchtime!

Always dress in layers in New Zealand.

I have lived here for fourteen years, and I’m still only getting the hang of the weather and the layer thing.

If you are into comedy, you will love the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in Auckland and Wellington.

If you are in the mountainous region of the South, then you may see some pretty snow.

  • Gets dark at  around 5.40 pm
  • The average temperature in May 17 – 21ºC



Visiting New Zealand in Winter – June

Snowy mountain in New Zealand


June is officially wintertime in New Zealand and can be the prettiest month of all to travel to New Zealand.

While June is the beginning of the snow sports season in New Zealand, other regions see June as one of the cheapest months to travel to New Zealand— making it perfect for those on a budget.

A note on snow sports. If you are looking to travel to New Zealand for skiing and are wondering when are the best conditions, wait until July, Aug or September. The snow is more consistent.

If you head down to Queenstown, you will experience the Queenstown Winter Festival. A week-long event to celebrate the beginning of winter. (I told you the Kiwis saw the good in everything!)

Accommodation prices are the cheapest at this time of the year (as long as you stay away from the ski fields) so you can bag yourself a gorgeous batch by Lake Taupo for around $250 a night.

Light the log fire and enjoy New Zealand’s peace in June.

The British and American ex-pats very often celebrate the 21st June as ‘Christmas day’. They rent a cabin in the mountains somewhere and put a Christmas tree up.

It’s all a bit weird if you ask me, but I suppose it gives you an excuse for a party, so that’s all good.

Whatever floats your boat!


  • Gets dark at around 5.10 pm
  • The average temperatures are 12 – 16ºC



Visiting New Zealand in July

Man at a picnic table in winter in new Zealand

This photo was taken in Wanaka in July. As you can see, winter days in New Zealand bring beautiful clear skies.


Even the Kiwis admit that July is cold in New Zealand – and to get them to do that is not easy!

Putting the cold weather aside, July is still a beautiful month to visit New Zealand.

I will assume you are not coming for the snow and are taking advantage of the cheapest, quietest (and coolest!) month in New Zealand.

July is another holiday for the kids – try and time your holiday away from that to save you even more money. 

The beaches on the East and West coasts of New Zealand’s North Island are all beautiful and deserted in the wintertime. If you are an artist or a writer, the colours are moody and atmospheric.

July is gorgeous in so many ways.

  • Getting in July dark at around 5.20 pm
  • The average temp in July  12 – 16ºC


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Visiting New Zealand in August


A fire

Winter in New Zealand still requires that you wear sunscreen, and August is no exception.


Days in August can be beautiful, and because of the sun’s intensity, you will still burn – especially around the reflective snowy mountains.

If you have booked some adventure activities such as sky diving or bungee jumping (how brave you are!), then be prepared to be flexible.

The weather can change within a few hours, and your activity will be cancelled until finer weather permits.

Enjoy one of New Zealand’s famous flat white coffees by sitting in one of the many coffee shops around the country and watching the world go by. Experience what New Zealand living is all about!

Know that New Zealand coffee is fabulous (that’s a not very well-advertised New Zealand travel tip for you!)

If you are a foodie, you will love Wellington on a Plate. This is a two-week-long festival of food-tasting events happening during mid-August.

Attend some cooking workshops or treat your taste buds to some Kiwi cuisine.

  • Getting dark around 5.50 pm
  • Average temperatures in August in New Zealand 12 – 16ºC


Ever Wonder What It Would Be Like To Live In New Zealand? Why Not Listen To Our Podcast Episode – The Pros & Cons Of Living In New Zealand




Visiting New Zealand in Spring


Visiting New Zealand in September

Kayaks on a lake in New Zealand

Hurray! Spring is here in New Zealand! And although the weather is still cool, the days are getting longer and brighter, making this month one of the best times to go to New Zealand.


September in Taranaki (where I live) means you can ski and surf on the same day. The snow is still good, and the water will have sunshine on the waves!

September is the time when New Zealand finally wakes up again with some outdoor festivals to enjoy.

If you enjoy seafood and all things about the ocean, then get down to the Whitianga Scallops Festival or the West Coast White Bait Festival.

Or, celebrate spring at the Hastings Spring Festival or the Alexandra Spring Festival.


  • Gets dark around 6.20 pm
  • Average temperatures 16 – 19ºC



Visiting New Zealand in October 

Alpacas in New Zealand.


Those pesky kids are taking another two weeks holiday in October (honestly, it feels as though they are off more than they are there!). Avoid the dates 26 Sept – 11 October for better deals.

Spring is in full spring (haha!) in New Zealand.

The lambs are jumping around in the fields, and there is a smell of excitement in the air.

Lots of beautiful flowers start to appear, and the eldest son is told to start cutting the grass once more.

 If gardens are your thing, don’t miss the Taranaki Garden Festival, where hundreds of local gardeners open their gates to show off their hard work.

It is a wonderful festival and very much worth seeing if you have (or, like me, wish you had) green fingers.


  • Getting dark at 7.30 pm
  • New Zealand in October weather sees average temperatures 16 – 19ºC 


Visiting New Zealand in November

Blue water in new Zealand

I LOVE November in New Zealand.


Not only are the days getting longer and sunnier, but there is a feeling of excitement in the air as everyone knows that a long, hot summer is hopefully on its way!

Places are still lovely and quiet, so you can book some beautiful places right on the beach for bargain prices.

Milford Sound – One of New Zealand’s most popular sights,  is much quieter in November, and it’s one of the seasons with less rain, so it’s a great chance to see the fiord on a clear day!

If you can, don’t miss it.

  • Getting dark at 8.10 pm
  • Average temperatures 16 – 19ºC


December (the first month of summer in New Zealand)

woman with scallops in New Zealand in summer

Christmas scallops!


December is all about Christmas in New Zealand, and Christmas means summer, the beach, BBQs and friends.

Take advantage of good deals on accommodation before the kids break up from school (again). This varies but usually starts around the 20th of December.

Although the weather can be changeable in December, there hasn’t been one year in the whole time that I’ve lived in New Zealand that it hasn’t been roasting hot when we put our Christmas tree up!

Now is the time to head to the shady walks of the National Parks and experience some warm shade.

There are lots and lots of festivals in and around December, all celebrating the run-up to the big day.

Compared to England, Christmas in New Zealand is quite a subdued affair. Families tend to have food outdoors if possible and play games out on the lawn with the kids.

  • Getting dark at 9.45 pm
  • Average temperatures 20 – 25ºC


FAQ About Visiting New Zealand


Q: What is the cheapest month to fly to New Zealand?

A: Searching through several flights on Google Flights (my fave go-to website), May is the cheapest month to fly to New Zealand.


Q: Is New Zealand expensive?

A: It depends on where you go. Personally, I feel that compared to Europe, the cost to live in New Zealand is no different.

We have people in our private ‘moving to New Zealand community’ that says  USA vs New Zealand cost of living is fractionally cheaper but when you take into account other costs that you incure in the US, New Zealand still wins.

If you plan on visiting Queenstown, Wellington or Auckland and are staying in a lodge overlooking the sea, eating out at fancy restaurants every night, then yes, your wallet may take a dent!

Try to see the parts of New Zealand that others don’t try to see (like Taranaki), and you will be pleasantly surprised at how reasonable prices are.


Next, you could…

Listen to our podcast: New Zealand. Will it cost me a fortune to visit?


Q: Do I need a visa for New Zealand?

A: British citizens can enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to six months if you have an onward ticket.

If you are moving to New Zealand from the US then Citizens can enter New Zealand without a visa for up to 90 days. However,  New Zealand recently introduced an electronic travel authority, commonly known as the eTA, that is required of 59 countries (including America) before they can enter New Zealand.

The process is a relatively cheap and simple procedure- you can obtain the eTA online



Related Posts That You Will Enjoy!

What you’ll miss when you move to New Zealand

Raising your kids in New Zealand (will they love it or be bored senseless?)

Living in New Zealand. The Pro’s and Con’s (podcast)

Cost to live in New Zealand. Will I be Flush or Skint?

New Zealand. Will you really be living the dream?

Moving to New Zealand. 7 Hoops You have to Jump Through

The Bog Post Diaries. How to Be a Bullshitter and Succeed


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To Sum Up, When IS The Best Time To Visit New Zealand?


I hope you enjoyed this guide to each month and are somewhat clearer as to which is the best time to visit New Zealand – as I was writing this, I was thinking “oh! I can’t wait until that month!”
And as I said, any month is the best time to travel to the gorgeous country that is New Zealand.

And if you get to Taranaki, look me up, please (I really mean that) and if there is anything else I can help you with, I will.

If you know anyone else planning to travel to New Zealand and wondering when the best time to visit is, please be kind and share this post.

Kia Kaha, my friend.


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